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Happy New Year!

Hopefully you didn’t over-indulge last night and you’re reading this with a clear head and sparkling eyes. But if you’ve got bleary eyes carrying a full set of luggage, and you’re faced with going off to brunch to watch the Rose Parade, makeup companies have products that can help hide the effects of a night of partying as well as unexpected zits or dark circles.

Benefit Cosmetics has an entire category of products devoted to fixing problems called “Fake Its & Fix Its”. One of the best is the Ooh La Lift – a soft pink under-eye cream with cooling ingredients (including chamomile) that will temporarily firm bags and hide dark circles with its light-reflective properties.

Another Benefit product is Bluff Dust, a fine-milled yellow-toned powder that you put over your foundation to neutralize redness due to rosacea.

Let’s not forget good old Visine. Not only does it get the red out of your eyes, but a drop also can help reduce the redness surrounding zits.

Most product fixes are designed to give you a smooth base for applying foundation since so few of us have flawless skin. The most highly-touted product for this purpose is Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. An oil-free, silicone-based formula, it will fill in small lines and smooth your skin before you apply foundation. Use it sparingly because a little goes a long way.

If you don’t want to spend the $36 it costs to buy the primer, Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel can be had at almost any drugstore for about 10 per cent of the cost. Dozens of members here at NaturallyCurly swear by it as a primer. It’s also silicone-based, and at that price you can afford to use it every day.

Did you decide to get a facial two days before your prom, and the redness is still present? A liquid neutralizer/corrector might be just what you need. LORAC makes an oil-free neutralizing foundation that is a bit pricey at $30. But for an important occasion, it can be well worth it . Unfortunately for darker-skinned readers, this product comes in only one light shade.

You may have noticed a theme here: the words pink, yellow, glow and brightener appear over and over. For example, the Tarte Rest Assured Brightening Wand is a pink-tone lining pencil that brightens up the inner corners of your eyes. But the company says it can be used “anywhere else on the face you need a little ‘well-rested’ glow."

Do you live in a hot climate? When you’re running around in heat and humidity, it can be difficult to keep makeup on all day. The movie industry has invented products to help keep makeup from slipping under the heat of strong lighting, such as Smashbox has Anti-Shine. This is a gel-to-powder product that goes on after moisturizer and before foundation to control oiliness for hours.

For we “women of a certain age” (as the French so delicately put it), we can have problems with lipstick feathering at our lip line. If you don’t want to have a different shade of lip liner for each lipstick in your stash, a great solution is CARGO Reverse Lipliner. Outline your lips with this AFTER putting on your lipstick. It will prevent feathering and provide definition to your lips.

Laura Mercier really seems to understand the needs of aging skin, and women around the world swear by her Secret Camouflage. This two-shade concealer is touted to “completely camouflage dark circles, minor imperfections, and discolorations”. One shade matches the skin's depth of color while the other matches the skin’s undertone.

For those of you who feel you need it all and want something small to take on the go, Benefit comes to the rescue with its “Realness of Concealness” kit. This little box contains five products to hide, smooth and impart a healthy glow when you’re feeling less than glowy!

May you have a beautiful 2007!

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